Ama – Word Derivation, Meaning, Definition, Formation

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Ama is the product of decreased digestion, coupled with excess food intake. This results in the formation of complex in the gut, which acts as poison and produces many symptoms.


Ama is one of the most discussed terms in Ayurveda. The term Amaya is a synonym of disease. It means ‘that which is caused by ama’.

Ama is a product of indigestion formed in the stomach, which tends to cause many systemic diseases.

When vitiated doshas come in association with ama they are called saama doshas. These sama doshas are very tough to handle as they produces serious symptoms and are root causes for many diseases.

Similarly sama dhatus (tissues associated with ama) and sama malas (waste substances associated with ama) too cause many diseases.

Ama, owing to its sticky nature is responsible for many blocks occurring in the cells and tissues, channels etc, causing depletion of nutrition needed for tissue functions and retention of wastes within the body. All these become responsible for many diseases, lowers the strength and immunity of an individual.

Since ama cause very dangerous symptoms similar to that of poison, it is also called as ama visha.

Nirukti, Utpatti

Derivation of The Word Ama – (Nirukti)

The word ‘Ama’ is derived form the root.

  • Am Roga dhatu + Aa + Dhang Pratyaya (A.K). Here the presiding vowel is elongated and the word ‘AMA” is formed.
  • According to Hemachandra – Gatyartha Am dhatu + Nich pratyaya = Ama (A.K)

Ama by Utapatti :

“Amyatae Gamyate pakadartham iti Amah” (A.K )

The substance which is not digested properly and needs further digestion is called Ama.

  • “Amayate pidyate srotasamauha aneneti Amah” (A.K.) 

Substance which is detrimental to srotas is termend as Ama.

It produce pain or create pressure on Srotamukha and accumulate in Srotamukha.

  • “A isat amyate pachyate iti Amah” (S.K.D.) “paka rahita  kancha is bhasa”

Incompletely digested or unprocessed matter is Ama.

In Ayurveda the term “Ama” means – substance which is supposed to under go digestion       ( Amyate……iti amah)

  • The term “Ama” is a synonym of vyadhi found in Charka Nidana sthana.

“Tatra vyadhiramayo gada ……ityanathantaram” (Ch.Ni – 1)

  • “Prayena Ama samuthena Amaya ityuchyate” (Chakrapani)
  • According to Aruna datta – “kilama samutthah sarve vyadhayah”

The most part of the disease are ingendered by Ama.

  • AA – As a prefix to verb & noun. It means near, near to.
  • MA – poison

   Ama denotes a substance, or a group of substance which is near to poison or act like poison.

Derivation, meaning

Derivation of the term Ama
The term Ama is pronounced as Aama. It is made up of two root words Ā + ma. In this, ‘Ā’ means towards and ‘ma’ means poison. This explains that ama is a substance which is similar to poison or poison like substance. This also explains why ama is otherwise called amavisha.

Meaning of the term Ama

  • Amavisha – A substance similar to poison
  • Ajeerna ahara or ajeerna ahara rasa – Raw, uncooked, immature, undigested and incompletely formed product of digestion of food formed in the stomach
  • Apakwa Annarasa – incompletely formed digestive juices
  • State of indigestion of food
  • Amaya – disease (amaya is a synonym of disease)
  • Mala sanchaya – accumulation of waste substances
  • Prathama dosha dushti – first contamination of dosha
  • Avipakwa dravya – that which is not processed properly

Ama definition

Definition of the term Ama
The food which has undergone acidic form, incomplete digestion is known as ama.

The substance which obstructs the channels of the body and interrupts their soft functioning is called ama.

Ama formation

What is the root cause for “Ama”?

The weak action of Agni resulting in immature undigested food which is not assimilated and is the prime cause for diseases is Ama.

A few scholars consider indigested and improperly formed essence of food (apakva ahara rasa) as Ama, while others assume it to be the accumulation of waste products in the body (mala) and a few others consider it as an early stage of dosha vitiation (dosha dushti).

Due to hypo-functioning of digestive fire, the food which is incompletely digested yields to formation of immature digestive juices stomach. Due to the retention for longer period, this undigested food undergoes fermentation and further gets contaminated. This immature digestive juices in stomach is called ama.

The first product of digestion is the nutritive part of the food. This is the first tissue formed in the body. In Ama, it is incompletely processed due to the debility of digestive fire located in the stomach is called ama.

That part of nutritive juices which has been left out without being processed properly after the digestion of food due to weak digestive fire is called ama. This ama is the root source of all the diseases.

Definition of ama showing ama as improper formation of rasa due to weak tissue fire (rasa agni mandhya)
The essence of digested food (nutritive juice) is said to be the fuel for the body. Rasagni (the fire located in the Rasa dhatu) is the first tissue level agni which helps in the formation of rasa dhatu. Rasa is the first tissue formed from which rest of the tissue are nourished. When this rasagni is weak, the ahara rasa is improperly processed. This improperly processed rasa due to the weakness of rasagni is called ama.

In this instance, the weakness of hotness (as mentioned by Vagbhata, explained above, Ref – A.Hr.Su.13/25) is considered to be weakness of rasagni instead of jatharagni as mentioned by Vagbhata. This is explained by Hemadri.

Definition of ama showing the characteristic features of ama
Ama is that which is –

  • Avipakva – improperly processed
  • Asamyuktam – unbound or not integrated (discrete and viscious)
  • Durgandham – foul smelling
  • Bahu pichchilam – very sticky
  • Sadanam sarva gatranam – has capacity to cause weakness in the entire body or body parts

Definition of ama showing it as intermingling of excessively vitiated doshas
The intermingling of excessively vitiated doshas lead to the formation of ama just like poison is formed from kodrava (kind of decayed cereal).

Definition of ama showing it as product of prolonged stagnation (retention) of improperly formed digestive juices (food) in the stomach

The improperly digested food due to retention in the stomach gains the form of decayed material and this further gains form of poison. Thus undigested food leads to formation of anna visha which is responsible for manifestation of many systemic diseases.

Causative factors

Causative factors for Ama (Charaka Samhita Vimanasthana 2/8)
Causes related to food (Ahara) –
Guru bhojana – intake of foods that are heavy to digest
Ruksha bhojana – dry foods
Sheeta bhojana – cold foods
Shushka bhojana – dried foods
Dvishta bhojana – disliked foods
Vishtambhi bhojana – foods that cause
Vidahi bhojana – foods that cause burning sensation
Ashuchi bhojana – contaminated foods
Viruddha bhojana – incompatible foods
Akala bhojana – untimely food intake

Mental factors (Manasika Karanas) –
Kama – desire
Krodha – anger
Lobha – greed
Moha – confusion
Irshya – jealousy
Shoka – grief
Mana – arrogance
Udvega – agitation
Bhaya – fear

According to the reference Charaka Samhita Vimana Sthana 2/9,
due to factors like worry (chinta), grief (shoka), fear (bhaya), anger (krodha), improper sleeping postures (dukha shayya), keeping awake at night (prajagara), the food taken in proper quantities and even the foods that are compatible does not get digested.

Events causing formation of ama

Weak belly fire is the chief culprit – Acharya Vagbhata has said – ‘Sarve api rogah mande agnau…’ which means all the systemic diseases are caused by weak digestive fire. Such weak agni will not digest the food properly.

Formation of immature nutritive juices – The improperly digested food (as a result of weak digestive fire) produces nutritive juices which are improperly processed. This immature nutritive juice of improperly processed food is called ama. This ama is formed in the stomach. This ama will produce toxic effect very quickly and hence is called as amavisha.

Absorption and circulation of improperly digested food or ama – Such immature digestive juices formed in the stomach is absorbed into the system through intestines and put into circulation through heart and its blood vessels. This immature ahara rasa is called ama.

Ama causes multiple blocks leading to deficit nutrition and deficit expulsion of unwanted metabolites – This ama, owing to its sticky nature (bahu picchila guna) sticks to the walls of the cells and channels and cause blocks. When the channels of the body blocked by ama, they fail to transport essential materials needed for formation of tissues, nutrients etc from one place to other or from place of production to place of utilization. Due to the blocks caused by ama, the cellular metabolites and excreta of the body are not expelled properly and get stagnated in the body.

Tissue damage due to blocks caused by ama – The stagnated waste products undergo decay and cause toxic effects in the body. Due to the effect of blocks, deficit nutrition and improper cleansing of the body the tissues and channels get damaged.

Causation of diseases due to tissue damage and channel blocks – As a result many diseases are caused. The effect of ama also lowers immunity and strength of the body. Therefore the vyadhi or disease is also called as amaya (that which is caused by ama).

Sama doshas, dhatus and malas
When the doshas get associated with ama they will be called as sama doshas. (Sa+ama = with ama).
These saam doshas are pathological states of doshas that are capable of causing many diseases.

Similarly the tissues associated with amam are called sama dhatus and the waste products of the body associated with ama are sama malas. Just like sama doshas, sama dhatus and sama malas also cause diseases.
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Kapha Dosha and Ama

Because of Ama formation, Rasa Dhatu is not well-formed. This pathology mainly affects the Amashaya. Amashaya is the place where, Prakrita Kapha Dosha gets formed, during the process of digestion. Hence, Ama leads to ill-formed Kapha Dosha, leading to symptoms like

Srotorodha –  Obstruction of the channels, pores,
Balabhramsha – loss of strength,
Gaurava – feeling of heaviness of the body,
Anila Moodata – inactivity of Anila (vata),
Alasya – laziness, lassitude,
Apakti – loss of digestive power,
Nishteeva – Person spits saliva frequently, more of expectoration,
Malasanga – constipation or low frequency of urination leading to accumulation of wastes,
Aruchi – anorexia,
Klama – exhaustion.

Medicines for Ama Pachana from Sahasrayoga Textbook

Pachana kashayam
Amritadi Kashayam (Pachanamrita Kashayam)

Definition of Ama :

The term ‘Ama ordinarily means, unripe, uncooked, immature undigested substance. It is produced from the impaired function of the kayangni. It is a toxic substance of gastroenteric origin.

     Different definitions of Ama have been quoted in the Ayurvedic texts. Some of which are as follows.

Due to hypo functioning of Ushma (Agni) the first Dhatu _ ‘Rasa” or chyle is not properly digested, instead the Anna rasa undergoes fermentation or putrefaction (Dusta) being retained in the Amashaya. This Rasa is called Ama. (A.H. Su.13/25) 21

Aamvisa or toxic product it act immediately and the disease produced by this Aamdosha is incurable.(Ch.Vi.2/12)22.

Ushmane :

Aruna datta – “Agneh Alpabalatwena daurvalyena”

Hemadree – Rasagni “Ushmano Rasagneh dhatum na dosham malam Va”

Dalhana – Dhatwagni, Dhatwagnibhih apakat Ama ityuchyate ( Su.Sut. 15/38)23.

Adhya dhatu :

Aruna datta – Adya prathamam dhatu rasam rasaravyam apachitam amam prachakshate.

Hemadree – Rasa which is not capable of executing its function and also not capable of transforming into Rakta.

Chandra nadana & sridas Pandit – Ahara rasa (usually it will not beyond Rasa dhatu)

Dusta Amashaya :

1.         Hemadree – “Amasayo yatra Ama Anna tisthati”  The name of this ‘Ashaya ‘ itself suggests that the digestion of food is not completed here.

  1. According to Bhava  prakasha & Vijaya rakshit –  The food residue which is not digested due to hypofunctioning of Agni is known as Ama and it is the root cause of all the disease. A residue of ahara rasa is still left behind  undigested towards the end of digestion.
  2. Ahara rasa which is not digested due to hypofunctioning of Agni is Ama and root cause, provocation of all the disease . (M.Ni)24.
  3. According to Vijay Rakshit in M.N. Amavata chapter – the term “Anna rasa iti Ama”. If Annarasa is not properly digested and formed then the outcome of such a digestion is known as Ama .
  4. The first phase of dosha dusti is Ama. (Vijay Rakshit). It means the 1st stage of the disease  is Ama stage(M.Ni) 24.
  5. The food which is not properly digested is Ama. Yet  others describes – the accumulation of Mala in the body as Ama .  The Mala here denotes the by – products of metabolism, not properly eliminated or utilized in the body.
  6. According to Harita – due to ajirna. the stored rasa dhatu (retained) infected and termed as Ama.
  7. Vagbhata describes that when the food digested properly, it is good for the body like ‘Amrita’ and keeps a man healthy while if it is not digested properly and remains as Apakwa, it is harmful for the body as the ‘visha’.
  8. Acharya Charka has also described the poisonous stage of Ama while describing the samprapti process of ‘Grahani roga’ when the taken food is not being digested properly and remains in the stomach, then it is bound to get fermented and latter on it becomes as harmful as visha for the living body.
  9. Ama visha –  The impaired vatadi dosha being mixed up with one another leads to the formation of Ama dosha very much like the yeilding of  visha       ( toxic substance) by the spoilt kodrava.

The obvious implication of these sloka appears to be that, in the absence or due to inhibition of kayagni, the food ingested is not properly digested and the product which arise out of such and impaired digestion, i.e. the chyme or chyle being retained in the Amashaya, undergoes such changes as yield toxic substance. This state is spoken  of as Ama.

      Describing Amavisha as a serious toxic condition comparable only to acute stage of  poisoning. Vagbhata observes – in a person who consumes mutually incompatible articles articles of dietary or ingest heavy food, arises Ama dosha, a condition which exhibits a symtomatology comparable to that of visha and hence is harmful.

      Amavisha which is intensely toxic, may endenger life, as the line of treatment of Ama dosha and visha are the opposite kind, the former, has to be treated as one of fatal prognosis. (A.H.Su. 8/13,14).

Again vagbhata describes ‘kaphajirna’ due to the excitation of kapha as Amadosha’.

So in short it can be said : The deficient function of Agni produces Ama which comprises a group of toxic substances and not capable of nourishing the body, but vitiated the doshas and cause diseases.

Many other meanings related to Ama are available in various Ayurvedic texts as

Ama                –           Incompletely developed Garbha ( Cha. Sh. 8/27)

Ama                 –           Unprocessed sneha (Ch.Si -4/48)

Amavastha     –           First stage of vrana shotha (M.N.-41)

Sama, Nirama purisha (Ch.Chi -15)

Amavastha as roga vishesa (M.N. 25)

Properties Of Ama.

The indigested Anna rasa possessing foul- odour & exessive pastiness deprives the body of its nutrition and in consequence causes ‘sadana’ (M.N -25)

1.         Avipakwam – the term refers to the avipaka or indigestion due to hypofunctioning of Jatharagni, Bhutagni & Dhatwagni. The individual poshakamsa of Rasa dhatu nourishes its particular Dhatu. Disorder rises in poshakamsa leads to metabolic disturbance that mean “Apakva Amarupa dhatuvriddhi” occurs. So Apakva guna is always found to be in the Ama due to huypofunctioning of Agni, Ama wherever it may be it must be understood as Apakava substance.

2.         Asamyuktam – the term refers to the incompactness. Since it is undigested, it remains in an inassimilable state, to the body substances.

3.         Durgandham, Bahupicchilam – Any apakva substance after sometime get putrified and some foul smell is being produced in it with a characteristic extreme pastiness. The action of coating or plastering of srotas is possible by ‘picchila guna’ of Ama.

      Retarded or sluggish gastro intestinal motility and other thing leads to the fermentation, shuktata or shuktapaka. The production of foul odour and extreme pastiness to the putrefaction of the protein components.

4          Sadanam – “Swakarya akshamatwan iti” (Himadree)

“Amganam kriyasu asamarthya iti” (Arun datta).

Disability to do any function by bodily part is sadana. The Ama dosha, Dhatu & Mala  are being formed by the Ama produces obstruction in the natural  function of the body and then Amgasada is found.

5.         Tantumatwa – Ama being an intermediary substance with viscos and spindle property not completely expelled out from the body.

6          Snigdhata – Ama is a substance of kapha group and due to this property it adhers to the bodily element.

7.         Guruta – Every dravya depends on Agni to become laguhu. So apakwa dravya remains guru than pakwa dravya as in case of Ama. Guruta in Ama is due to dominancy of Jala and prithwi Mahabhuta.

8.         Aneka varna yukta – Commentator Gangadhar defines combination of various Amsas of pancha mahabhuta are the cause of different colours such as lohita, shukla, krishna, etc. The improper digested Panchabhautika Ahradravya produces Ama of various colour.

9.         Asukari – “Asurasukaro dehe dhavatyambhasi tailavat” (B.P.)

It is the property of Amavisa which quickly spreads in the body.

10.       Shulanubandha – “vatat rute nasti Ruja” (Su.Sut. 17/8). There is no pain without the intervention of the deranged vayu. Due to srotarodha by Ama, the proper function of vata get hampered and causes shula.

  1. Visha rupata – Amadosha displays a symptomatalogy comparable to visha. Visha is capable of producing many diseases, likewise Ama also produces serious diseases.
  2. Sarvaroga hetutwa –Ama hi sarva roganam hetu”. (Ayurveda sutra)

Ama being mixed with Dosha, Dhatu & Mala, produces all types of disease. So in Ayurvedic texts the word ‘Amaya’ is used for disease or vyadhi.

Pathogenesis of Ama & Definition of Sama :

As regarding Sama, Vagbhata describes it as a condition in which the tridosha & sapta dhatus as well as Malas become permeated with the Ama produced in Amashaya. Diseases which arise in consequence are also spoken of as Sama types of diseases. (A.H.Su. 8/11).

          Doshas and Dushyas which get mixed with Ama is termed as same. It is being able to vitiate Doshas, Dushyas, Malas and reponsible for disease production. Ama spread over along with vitiated dosha by there marga and produces many disease. Sama dosha spreads to all roga marga. It can goes to shakha from koshtha and vice-versa there by producing all type of disease.

Ama circulate along with Rasa dhatu and accumulate in place where it get obstructed and becomes the site of origin of the disease.

  • Sama dosha or Dushya are passing through the one srotas to another srotas and it gives rise to a disease at the place where it get obstructed.
  • Ama also becomes a nidanarthakara factor to produce ‘khavaigunya’ in any of the srotas and makes the seat for “Sthana samashraya” of  provoked dosha and they get conjugated at this place i.e. Doshadusya samurcchana takes place.
  • All the disease which are described under the heading of “prodoshaja vikara” is Ama prodoshaja vikara.

Disease  Production By Ama :

Agni dusti (kayagni, Bhutagni, Dhatwagni)


                              Ama             (Mixed with Dosha, Dushya and Mala)


            (Circulate in all srotas and kha-vaigunya at particular site)

                                    ¯                      (samavastha)

vyadhi             (sakhagata, kosthagata, marmasthi sandhi gata)

According to some author :

The impaired vatadi dosha being mixed up with one another lead to the formation of Ama very much like the yielding of visha by the sploit kodrava. It means due to inhibition or absence of kayagni the food ingested is not properly digested and the product with arise out of such an impaired digestion being retained in the Amashaya undergoes such changes as yield toxic substances. (A.H.Sut.13/26)

Symptoms of Ama :

To have a clear understanding of the mode of pathological state of Ama in the body, the characteristic of doshas in Samavastha & Niramavastha should well known. Samadosha and their symptoms are stated by samavastha. Symptoms of Ama are tabulated according to different authors are :-

Table No.2- Showing Symptoms of Ama according to different  Ayurvedic Acharyas:

SymptomsA.H. Su/13A.H.Su 13/23-29Y.Satak
Anila mudhata+
Mala samga+
Garu udara+

Table No.3- Showing Charactaristics of Sama, Nirama dosha

VataAgnisada, vivandha, sthambha, Antra kujana, vedana, sopha, toda, Amga pida, snehadai vriddhi, meghodaye vriddhi, nisi  vriddhi (A.H) – Sarti, Adhmana, Asamchara (A.S)Vishada, ruksha, nirvivandha, alpa vedana, shamana in snidgdha upachara (A.H)
PittaDurgandha, Harita syava varna, Ghana, guru, amla, kantha hrit daha krit, (A.H) – Durgandha, Asita, Bahala (A.S)Atamra Varna, peeta varna, Atyushna,vivandhi, katurasa, asthira, vigandhi, pakwa, balakari, ruchi (A.H)
KaphaAvila, Tantula, Tstyana, Durgandi, stick to kantha, kshut udgar bigha takrit (A.H) pralepi, picchilaPhenila, pindita, pandu, Agandhita, vaktra sodhaka Nisara, chhedi (A.H) visada, dhavala, Madhura rasa (A.S)

The Ama and sama states are the index of the inability of the organism to achieve a new steady state equilibrium. Hence in planning the line of treatment and therapies, it is essential to ascertain and determine the samata or niramata as on this will depend a decision, if sodhana or shamana methods of treatment are to be adopted in any given condition.

Nidan of Ama :

The main factor concerned in the production of Ama is Mandagni. It is in this state that the food ingested produce Ama.

         The nidana concerning Ama formation  may be divided into 4 parts :

  1. Aharaja ( Dietic indiscretion)

(i) According to guna

(ii) According to kala, Matra

(iii) Asamyak yoga of Ahara parinamakarabhavas

  1. Viharaja ( unwholesome habits)
  2. Mannasika (psychological factors)
  3. Others.

Aharaja (Ch.Chi 15-43)

–           Abhojana                                            –           Dagdha & Ama ahara sevana

–           Adhyasana                                          –           Asuchi, Asatmya sevana

–           Viruddha bhojan                                –           Sushka, Ruksha Ahara

–           Ati seeta bhojan                                 –           Atyambhupluta ahara (for long duration)

                                                      –          Bistambhi Ahara sevana

According to guna – guru, seeta, bistambhi, suska, vidahi, ruksha, picchiha  guna causes Ama formation.

According to kala, matra – A person should eat when the previous meal is digested, because if one eats during indigestion, the eaten food mix, with the product of earlier meal and vitiates all the food quickly. Therefore Ajirna Bhojana, adhayshana, Vishamashana etc. produces Ama vikara.

    Again one should take food in proper quantity, because it depends on Agnivala. (Ch.Sut. 5/8) – “Aharamatra punargnibalapekshini”

Asamyak yoga of Ahara parinamakara bhava :

       Ahara Parinamakara bhavas take active role on the food digestion process. Like – ushna digests, vayu, absorbs, kleda produces looseness, sneha generate softness, kala brings it to complete transformation and Samayoga means the use and need of the Asta aharavidhi, rutu desa etc. Samyoga is interpreted as balanced use of 8 factors regarding diet. (Ch.Sh. 6/14, 15)

          Imbalanced state of Ahara parinama karabhava causes Agni vikruti which is the main causeof Amotpatti.

Vihara :

(i) RatriJagrana  – It creates provocation of vata and kapha which produce Agni dusti and  ultemately Amotpatti

(ii) vega dharana

(iii) diva swapna

(iv) uncomfort  bed (Dukha sayya)

Manasika : (Ch.Vi. 2/9) , ( Bhel.S. 10/1.2) (A.H. Su 8/33)

  • Chinta , Shoka, bhaya, Krodha, Uptapa mana (Ch.Vi)

–           Irsya, Lobha, Udvega, Hri, Kama (Bhel. S.)

Others – (Ch.Chi.15/43)

(i) Mal effect of virechana, vamana & snehana.

(ii) wasting of the tissue which follows in the wake of disease ( vyadhi karshana )

(iii) Allergic states engendered by faults or change in place, climate, season. (deshakalarttu vaishamya)

       Dietic indiscretion and emotional stresses may, between them, impair the effective functioning of the neuro – humoral mechanisms responsible for ensuring proper secretion of the digestive juices, the disturbance of the PH in the gastro – intestinal environment and more often sluggish and sometime hypermotility of the stomach and intestine, leads to formation of Ama.

Following conditions are necessary for the causation of Ama, sama and Amavisha.

  • Dosha vaishamya – corresponding to the neuro humoral, metabolic and cytoplasmic events leading to –
  • Mandgni or hypo functioning of –  The mechanism responsible for the secretion of the digestive juice resulting in-
  • The lack of required quality and quantity of the digestive juice.
  • Hyper or hypomotility of the stomach and intestine – 

In Hypomotility – Retard movement of food in the GIT resulting in the fermentation and putrefaction obviously due to the activity of some the sahaja krimi. ( intestinal flora)

In Hypermotility – the harried or accelerated emptying of the partly or incompletely digested food.

             In either case leading to mal ( impaired nutritional or metabolic state resulting in mal – nutritional syndrome low-toxic states & lowered resistance constituting the condition known as sama.

Classification of Formation of Ama :

 From previous discussion it is clear that mandagni at different level is the main causative factor responsible in the production of Ama. On the basis of above definition, Ama can be classified as follows,

  1. Ama produced by Agimanadya.

(i)         Ama produced by jatharagnimandya

(ii)        Ama produced by Bhutagnimandya

(iii)       Mala samchaya rupa Ama.

  1. Ama produced independent of Agni –

(i)         Ama produced as the first stage of doshik vitiation

(ii)        Ama produced by ingestion of poison or other external factors.

(i) Ama produced by Jatharagnimandya –

Normally Jathargagni digests the food in the Amashaya and pachyamanashaya, and leads to separation of sarabhaga from kitta bhaga. Due to hypofunction of Jatharagni , more Mala is formed in compare to sara. The Ama thus formed is the main cause of Acute disorder of the alimentary system like Jwara, Atisara, pravahika.

       The Ama formed by Jatharagnimandya is as follows.

            (a)        Apakwa Annarupa Ama

            (b)       Apakwa Ahara rasa

  • Apakwa Anna rupa Ama – The deranged Agni becomes unable to digest even the light food and thus the undigested Anna retained in the Amashaya undergoes process of formentation and putrefaction assuming the form of visha. (Ch.Chi 15/45)

The disease produces

  • If the Amadosha comes out through upper passage it is called  ‘cchardi’.
  • If it comes through lower passage it is called ‘Atisara.”
  • If it comes out  by both passage in the acute form it is called ‘visuchika’.
  • When Apakwa Anna neither expel out by mouth or by Guda it produced  a condition called ‘Alasaka’
  • Grahani is the seat of Agni. But due to hypofunction of Agni when it releases the ingested material either in ripe or unripe condition, it is known as the disorder of ‘Grahani.’
  • Apakwa Ahara rasa Ama – second type of Ama is Apakwa ahara rasa which is manifested as “Rasashesajirna”, the condition, in which the Apakwa food stuff is restored in the Amashaya to be converted into pakwahara rasa.

              In modern science we can compare this’Jatharagnimandya’ with the hypofunctioning of the neuro-humoral mechanisms responsible for the secretion of digestive juice and regulation of general metabolism.

(ii)  Ama produced by Bhutagnimandya –

Since pachakagni is the basic factor, and Dhatwagni, Bhutagni are dependingon pachakagni, the pachakagni may produce Dhatwagnimandya or Bhutagnimandya.

Tow types of Ama can be considered at the level of Bhutagni.

  • At first level this results, either if that particular food particle is improperly processed, i.e. deficient in its own Bhutagni – for ex – improperly cooked food like Mandaka, Kurchika will leads to Ama production being deficient in their own Agni.
    • If further not digested well by sharirantargata Bhutagni will lead to formation of Ama of that Mahabhautikamsa at the Bhutagni level.

Now if this undigested Mahabhautikamsa of Ahara reach to Dhatwagni consequently results Dhatwagnimandya.

(iii) Ama produced by Dhatwagnimandya –

Here, at the level of Dhatwagni two types of Ama can be considered, depending upon their process of formation –

  • Dhataugata Ama
  • Dhawgnimandya janita Ama
  • Dhatugata Ama – If improperly digested Bhautikamsa produced at the level of Bhutagni mandya, enter into respective Dhatus which are comprised of those Mahabhuta are called as Dhatugat Ama.

For ex- improperly digested Bhautikmsa enters into respective dhatus it produced ‘Dhatu pradoshaja vikara’.

     It is also called ‘sama dhatu’ because when this Ama will vitate the dosha and Dhatu, they are termed as ‘sama dosha’ and ‘sama Dhatu’ respectively. (A.H.Su 8/11)

        In Dhatugata Ama, Dhatu may not be increased in their quantity as the Ama visha which combined with particular Dhatu will hamper the normal function of that Dhatwagni.

       Very often it may also be found that the Dhatugata Ama may converted into the Dhatwagnimandyajanya Ama. (Ch.Chi 15/49)

  • Dhatwagnimandya janita Ama –

If jatharagni and bhutagni are not capable of digesting the anna Ahara rasa respectively, the Dhatwagni also may not become efficient to digest that Apakwa Ahara rasa or Apakwa Bhautikamsa which have reached at their Dhatwagni level and ultimately the result is production of Ama.

      Dalhana and Chakrapani in their commentaries of Sushruta have stated that the  formation of Ama need not necessarily be due to Jatharagni mandya only and it may be also occur due to the impairment of Dhatwagni paka also.

      According to charkrapani and Vachaspati in A.D., the term Dhatu used in this context is for Asthayi Dhatu and Agni is for Dhatwagni.

        Impaired functioning of Dhatwagni causes incompletely or intermediatory formed of Dhatu thus it can increased in quantity (Apakwa Amarupa dhatu) which is termed as Dhatwagnimandya janita Ama – ex – cholesterol.

Dhatugata Ama requires to improve that power of Jatharagni through Deepana, pachana process, while Dhatwagnimandya janita Ama requires to improve the power of Dhatwagni through only pachana therapy.

(iv) Mala sanchaya rupa Ama –

Mala by definition encompasses a variety of substances produced in both normal and abnormal functioning of the body. Those which are Abadhakara and upaghatakara for the body are called as Malas.

       Chakrapani has mentioned that samadhatu  are also named as Mala. Sharira dhatu which traverse in wrong channels and the Apakwa dhatu which may cause disease condition are taken as Mala. (Chakrapani)

       As a result of Jatharagnipaka and Dhatwagnipaka various Malas are produced like Mala, Mutra, Nakha, Kesha etc. and these Malas  require to be eliminated form the body otherwise accumulation occurs which can produce various functional and organic disease by the derangement in different systems of the body. For ex-mala sanchaya rupa Ama is seen in purva rupa of prameha such as – kesha nakhati vriddhi……etc. (Ch.Chi 6/13)

     Rasadhatwagnimandya brings about over production of  kapha which creates srotarodha and  produces kasa etc.

       So in short apart form the definition of Mala, the originator and fundamental substance of the body like Dosha, Dhatu, Mala are also considered as Malas when  they are vitiated by any causative factor. ( Ch.Sh.6/17)

        The term ‘Mala Samchaya’ used to designate Ama & sama. It has two meaning – Metabolic waste product and Malas not properly eliminated or utilized in the body economy. This state of formation of Ama also caused by Agnimandya.

        So the first category of Ama formation produced by a long term process which includes Samchaya, Prakopa, Prasara of Doshas in the body due to intake of different Dosha prakopaka nidana.

  1. Ama Produced Irrespective of Agni :

Second category of Ama is independent of Agni though here the rode of Agni is not totally absent but its working is insidious. These are –

(i) Ama, the first stage of Doshik vitiation –

The processs of Dosha sanchaya reflects the first stage of samprapti. This term refers to the primary stage of Dosha dusti. It is called Ama, because this stage is not able to manifest the vyadhi. In the next stage, vitiated Dosha gain strength & intensity for the manifest the vyadhi. In the next stage, vitiated Dosha gain strength & intensity for the manifestation of the disease. So the first stage of Dosha  vitiation is called as Ama.

(ii) Ama produced by ingestion of poison or other external factors – Toxic feature of Ama is due to specific etiology. Here the  production of  visha is by the process of vikruti vishama samabeta process, analogus to the formation of incompatible substance by the equal mixture of  Madhu & Ghrita. (Chakrapani)

     Ama visha quickly spreads all over the body and produces severe type of the disease.

      Various types of dietic errors & indiscretions leads to the impairment of digestion, when complicated by bacterial activity cause profound toxic states. Endotoxins produced by some parasitic bacterias can be termed as Ama.

    Food poisoning produces a symptomatology closely resembling that of Amavisha. The conditions are infective gastro – enteritis, toxic gastro enteritis etc.

       Since Agni is present in each and every cells of the body, similarly may also formed by derangement of Agni at any cellular level and it will be of several type.


Stage of Amavastha can be devided into 3 –

(i)                     vikrita samavastha

(ii)                    vikruta Amavastha

(iii)                   vikruta Niramavastha

Vikruta samavastha – Ama produced in the body get adheres to Dosha, Dushya, Mala which hampers their normal function. Though there is no structure wise deformity in Dosha, Dusya, Mala but due to Ama, they are unable to perform their normal functions.

Vikruta Amavastha –

In this condition, Dosha, Dushya, Mala improperly formed due to improper function of Agni. Here the structural defect is seen. Sthayi Dosha,  Dushya, Mala are continuously formed to replace the deficit produced due to swabhaboparama principle. In this stage, the Dosha Dhatu & Mala produced are structurally abnormal and are therefore they are termed as Ama dosha, Ama dushya etc.

Vikruta Niramavastha –

After treatment of samavastha by Ama pachana this stage produce. In this stage though the diseased condition is not cured completely and Dosha, Dhatu, Mala remains in a vitiated state, but the Ama adhered to them gets cured by niramikarana, after this Doshavasechana and other treatments are required for Dosha, Dhatu & Mala to make the patient completely cured.


The term “Ama” is not a single entity but is a generalised form which can be applied to many malformed substance in the body.

  • Uric acid which is produced from the impaired digestion of  protein can termed as Ama.
  • Form the bacterial action (in putrefaction) the production of indol, sketol. Hydrogen sulphide methen etc can termed as Ama.
  • Lactic acid, ketone, ketonebodies produced form impaired digestion of carbohydrate & fat can termed as Ama.
  • Impaired glycogenesis also produce substance which can compared with Ama.
  • Discolouration of stool is due to incomplete process of bile in intestine which can called Ama.


      Free radical is an atom/molecule that contain one or more unpaired electron which requires neutralisation by free radical scavengers. Thus it exists in incomplete metabolic state which is also the state of Ama described as Avipakwam.

-Asmyuktam state of Ama correlated with inassimilable state of free radical which exist in free state.

Durgandha or putrafaction occurs due to damaged cells caused  by F.R

  • Ama as picchila form stick to the srotas or body tissue, like F.R. quickly attack the healthy molecule of the body to seek stability in their structure.
  • Impairment of Agni at cellular level causes the generation of Ama as well as F.r. where body’s primary defence is disturbed.
  • Certain toxic substance like heavy metals also produce F.R. similarly Ama also produced from visha dravya.
  • Like Ama, depending upon the site and method of  production , many different forms of F.R. are produced.


  1. According to Maharshi Charka. First sama, nirama condition should be examine and than treatment should done.
  2. Symptoms can be observed in sama vyadhi which also proves the importance of Ama in sama, nirma condition of the disease.
  3. Different treatment principles are advised to sama & nirama condition –

In samavastha – Apatarpana is main treatment where as in niramavastha – samtarpana is advised.

  • samavastha is first treated with Langhan and Pachan.

Sodhan should not done at once due to spreading of Dosha all over the body  (in cellular level, Leena dosha). By pachanakarma first it is made to pakwa and latter shodhan can applied. In niramavastha Langhana should not be advised, here shodhan can apply.

  1. The knowledge of sama & nirama is necessary to avoid all kind of vyapad while treating the patient.
  2. After all it is said that – The medicine used in a Nirma deha works like Amrita.

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